Reading is the gateway to endless knowledge, captivating stories, and personal growth. However, finding the right glasses can make or break your reading experience. It’s easy to head to your local drugstore and pick up a pair of cheap readers off the shelf, but getting the right strength is a somewhat complicated process.
Regarding reading glasses, different strengths are available to suit your needs from online retailers like Zenni Optical. These are referred to as diopter strength and range from +1.00 to +4.00. You may be familiar with reading glasses sold off the shelf in drug stores or online, often described as cheaters or over-the-counter reading glasses. These are an excellent option for many who need help seeing close-up text and fine details. However, these reading glasses only enlarge your uncorrected vision and do not correct any other issues you might have with distance or astigmatism. A better alternative to over-the-counter readers is prescription reading glasses explicitly tailored for your and your eye needs. These glasses are designed to alleviate common eye concerns like presbyopia and blurred vision when focusing on up-close text, fine print, and detailed work. Prescription reading glasses are also available in various frames and lens materials to make them stylish and comfortable. If you need help determining what type of reading glasses strength you need, we recommend downloading a free eyeglasses chart. You can find this on our website or ask your optometrist to provide one. With the chart in front of you, remove your glasses and hold it approximately 14 inches away from your face. Start by covering one eye and then read the lines from the top to the bottom. The first line that appears blurry is a good indicator of what power of reading glasses you will need to read comfortably.
Reading glasses are an excellent way to address presbyopia by enlarging what you’re looking at. Whether your goal is to sift through tiny prints or to see distant objects more clearly, finding frames that fit comfortably and look great on you is essential. The first step is to determine your face shape. This can be done by sitting in front of a mirror and looking at your face. If you have an oval face, you’ll have more flexibility regarding frame shapes than heart or round faces. You can experiment with various frame styles that flatter your face, including oversized oval frames, vintage-inspired browline frames, and classic square frames in metal or plastic. You’ll also want to consider the color of your eyes and hair to ensure your new glasses will coordinate. For example, if you have brown eyes and hair, avoiding dark or black frames that could clash with your complexion might be a good idea. Plastic is the most common material for reading glasses frames and is available in various colors, textures, and styles. It’s also extremely lightweight, making it comfortable for long periods. It’s also possible to get a more premium feel with acetate frames made from natural fibers and pressed into shape.
Magnification describes how much closer an object appears to us than it would in normal vision. A magnification power of 8x means a subject will appear eight times closer than it would without binoculars. Higher magnifications are available, but this also reduces the field of view. The best way to determine the correct magnification is to ask your eye doctor to perform an eye exam and provide you with a prescription. You can also use the chart above to help you sift through your options and decide on the power that will be best for you. Reading glasses are a popular choice because they are easy to use and are available in a wide range of powers. Some readers are designed to fit over bifocals or prismatic spectacles.
In contrast, others are mounted on regular glasses and easily removed when not needed for close-up activities. Low-vision glasses are designed to compensate for certain visual conditions, such as macular degeneration or glaucoma, by reducing the size of blind spots. They can include different tints and coatings that improve light transmission, reduce glare, and enhance contrast.
In addition to frame style, you want to ensure your reading glasses are comfortable for long periods. If your glasses fall off frequently or are constantly uncomfortable, they’ll likely be distracting and cause additional eye strain. Look for frames with flexible nose pads and durable, comfortable plastic. Also, remember that some metal frames can be more sturdy than plastic and better withstand regular wear and tear. If you’re a newcomer to the world of readers, it’s normal to go through trial and error when trying various magnification strengths. Reading glasses can be found in standard strength diopters, from +1.00 to +4.00. You can use a diopter chart at home to double-check your strength or grab a greeting card from the stationery aisle and hold it at a comfortable reading distance.